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Significant Effect of Capecitabine on the Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Warfarin in Patients With Cancer

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  • Medicine
  • Pharmacology


Purpose Clinical cases of capecitabine and other fluorouracil-based chemotherapies potentiating the effects of coumarin derivatives have been reported. This study assessed the influence of capecitabine on the pharmacokinetics.(PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) of warfarin. Patients and Methods Four patients with advanced/metastatic cancer completed the study, receiving a single oral dose of 20 mg warfarin before the start of standard capecitabine treatment (day 1), and again during the third cycle of capecitabine (day 61). PK parameters of warfarin and capecitabine and PD parameters of warfarin were assessed on days 1 and 61. Results During capecitabine treatment, the area under the plasma concentration time curve from 0 to infinity (AUC(0-infinity)) of S-warfarin increased by 57% (90% CI, 32% to 88%) with a 51% prolongation of the elimination half-life (t(1/2); 90% CI, 32% to 74%). Exposure to R-warfarin was not significantly affected. Plasma concentrations of capecitabine and its metabolites were not influenced by warfarin. During capecitabine treatment, the effect of warfarin on the baseline corrected AUC of the International Normalized Ratio (INR) increased by 2.8 times (90% Cl, 1.33 to 5.70), with the maximum observed INR value almost doubling. Because of the administration of vitamin K to some patients with elevated INRs, these figures are likely to underestimate the true PD effect. Mean baseline factor VII levels dropped while on capecitabine therapy, potentially contributing to the observed PD. interaction, though this effect did not reach statistical significance. Conclusion There is a significant pharmacokinetic interaction between capecitabine and S-warfarin, resulting in exaggerated anticoagulant activity. Patients receiving warfarin anticoagulant therapy concomitantly with capecitabine should have their INR closely monitored and warfarin doses adjusted accordingly.

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